What wine pairs best with a certain food is an endlessly engaging topic for both amateurs and wine experts. So when ANCX brought together a group of wine merchants and connoisseurs for the event, “ANCX: Wine, Cheese, and Everything In Between,” the conversation expectedly got as rich and complex as a perfectly aged Pinot.
At the online gathering, Executive Class host David Celdran sat down with École Ducasse Manila Executive Chef Marc Chalopin, Wine Depot President Brett Tolhurst, and Barcino Executive Corporate Chef Nicolas Diaz to get the lowdown on what makes a good wine, what wine-food pairing rules still apply, including what goes best with our very own adobo and lechon. ANCX partnered with SM for this live event set in the spacious al fresco dining space of the SM Aura Premier Skypark in Taguig. The cool weather and glasses of champagne set the the mood for a bright and relaxed afternoon.
Read the ratings, know the region
But even before anyone should jump into wine pairings, it’s important to know the basics of what makes a good wine. Reading wine ratings can be a start, Tollhurst agrees, but equally important is the critic doing the ratings. “You need to pick a good critic--James Halliday from Australia for example or James Suckling and Robert Parker who are from the US. If you’ve got a critic that is well known then I would definitely use the ratings as part of the decision process,” he says. While many can be biased to wines with 90 and above ratings, Tolhurst says that an 80 above is generally regarded as a good wine.
Where one buys is also an important consideration, points out Chalopin. “If you go to a cellar place or supermarket or gasoline station, you cannot find the same wine,” he says. The land where the wine is produced should also be added to the equation, saying Regions like the Rioja in Spain or Pomerol in France have already established good reputations. “If there is a name of the land in the bottle, that is good. And if you can find the name of the owner who brewed the wine, it’s perfect,” he says.